Natasha Giuliani

Primary Teacher

Clarkston Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What Happens When Checklists are Introduced for Self-Assessment?


The Scottish Government highlight that children and young people can develop their confidence by thinking about and reflecting on their own learning. It is also stated that for this process to be effective, learners require support in order to develop their skills in self and peer assessment. The Assessment is for Learning framework suggests that pupils will achieve more when they have decided what improvements are required in their own learning. (Scottish Government, 2011)

Formative assessment techniques, have been found to encourage children to take control of their learning (Black, 2001), and as some children can often struggle to recognise which elements of their work they are supposed to be focusing on, they require support and assistance in narrowing the success criteria into a simple form which they can follow. Self- assessment is productive when pupils have the opportunity to compare their work to clear criteria and have opportunities to reflect and revise their work (Hutchinson & Hayward, 2005).

For some children, and particularly for those requiring additional support in their learning, it may be difficult to achieve the success criteria in the same way as some of the more able children in the class. By introducing a checklist to support children in self-assessing their work, there will be targets which fall into the following categories: Skills and Abilities, Knowledge and Understanding, Behaviour and Effort. For some children, the assessment focus on a particular day could be more closely linked to the Behaviour and Effort rather than always solely focussing on the Academic achievements. This, for some children may provide greater opportunities for achievement, especially for those children who often view themselves as less able due to a lack of confidence.


The aim of this enquiry was to motivate and encourage the children to complete their tasks with a good quality of work. I aimed to use a structured approach to self-assessment by introducing a self-assessment checklist into literacy learning. The checklists were created as a means to encourage children to check their work against specific criteria, whilst also providing guidance and support to enable pupils to be more independent in their learning.

The checklists were tailored to individual children to provide a specific focus in relation to their skills and relevant task.

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